Terre Haute Tribune Star: Senate candidate visits Vigo fair

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Donnelly puts focus on jobs at campaign stops

Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

July 9, 2012

TERRE HAUTE — Rain at the fair might be a downer for some, but not a congressman from Indiana.

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-South Bend), candidate for Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat, dropped by the Vigo County 4-H Fair on Sunday evening, part of a six-pack of visits throughout the state this weekend, beginning with the Noblesville Farmers Market at 9 a.m. Saturday. By Sunday evening, thunderclaps were audible over the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds, and all involved agreed they were a welcome sound considering the weeks of drought.

Donnelly said the impact of ill weather is visible from the road while driving around Indiana.

“Looking at the fields, it would be very difficult for farmers without crop insurance this year,” he said, detailing his support for farm legislation with representatives of the Farm Bureau and livestock owners.

Donnelly, who assumed office in 2007, faces Republican Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock for the seat presently held by Republican Richard Lugar. Mourdock defeated Lugar in the May primary.

The Notre Dame University Law School alumnus said his aspiration for bipartisanship and collaboration is one of the things which sets him apart from Mourdock.

“What I believe is we need to work together more,” he said of party differences between Republicans and Democrats. Hoosiers, he said, expect their representatives to work together for the good of the state, not fight amongst themselves.

Donnelly described his platform as one which addresses economic needs.

“My focus is on jobs and job creation,” he said, adding he would be flying back to Washington, D.C., that night for votes today. Protecting American companies, creating jobs locally, and securing energy independence are all primary goals if elected to the Senate, he said.

For Liz Davis Bennett, a real estate broker with Troy Helman Coldwell Banker, the economy is likewise key.

“The biggest issue in general is the housing market,” she said, noting her office just posted 101 pendings in May, the best it’s done in nearly seven years.

The steady pace at which the local housing market has been recovering needs to be continued, she said, attributing that rebound to low interest rates and homes affordably priced. Voters, she said, need to get to the polls and support candidates that can keep that momentum going.

Donnelly, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt, said he wanted to stop by west-central Indiana while traveling about this weekend.

“We wanted to be here in Vigo County because it’s such a critical place for the election,” he said, adding his own pleasure at hearing the sounds of rain about to fall.

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